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Published: Tue Jul 1 2008
Ram’s Horn and Citron, Tinder and Carillon

You’ll find two rabbits, dressed and hung
above the ram’s horn, above the citron.

The table half-draped in damask
in need of ironing. You’ll find east light

too harsh for still life, yet wait and the rabbit slumps
on the hook, wait and the fly arrives.

You make an adjustment. Remove the rabbits;
arrange a pyre of tinder at the base

of the ram’s horn, behind the citron.
You will not light it, the pyre, you will not

enjoy its opulent rage. Listen instead
to the carillon luring the winter sun to sleep

while the ram’s horn and citron
throw a fool’s cap shadow on the wall.

Leslie McGrath authored two poetry collections, Feminists Are Passing from Our Lives (The Word Works, 2018) and Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage (Main Street Rag, 2009), which was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award for poetry; two chapbooks, and the satiric novella in verse Out From the Pleiades (Jaded Ibis Press, 2014). Her poems appeared in such journals as Alimentum, Beloit Poetry Journal, AGNIBlack Warrior Review, Connecticut Review, DIAGRAM, Poetry Ireland, AGNI Online, Nimrod, The Awl, The Common, and Slate. Winner of the 2004 Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for poetry, she taught creative writing and literature at Central Connecticut State University and was editor of The Tenth Gate, a poetry imprint of The Word Works. Her interviews with poets appeared regularly in The Writers Chronicle and were broadcast on public radio. She died of cancer in August 2020.

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